Russia: In defence of those with differing views
The writer Boris Strugatsky is one of a number of cultural and human rights figures in Russia who, have signed an appeal to the Prosecutor General to “stop the wave of abuse” towards dissident thinkers. “We demand that an end is put to the persecution of dissident thinking and political surveillance under the guise of fighting extremism”, the appeal to Prosecutor General Yury Chaika reads.
For “entirely lawful” criticism of the authorities opposition figures are facing criminal charges of inciting inter-ethnic enmity, the authors of the appeal state. They consider that this approach “totally distorts the meaning of the fight against xenophobia”.
They demand an end to the criminal prosecution of employees of the Dagestan newspaper “Chernovik” and two members of the National Bolshevik Party [Limonovs party – translator] who held a peaceful act of protest against the handover to China of border Russian territory.
Chaika is called upon to “issue as a matter of urgency an instruction on how to treat accusations of incitement to inter-ethnic enmity”, in order to exclude the possibility of their being interpreted too broadly.
The authors of the letter are convinced that the Security Service and enforcement bodies are making up a list of opposition activists and carrying out unlawful surveillance of them, as well as infiltrating informers into civic organizations.
The letter is also endorsed by Father Gleb Yakunin, Lev Ponomarev from the organization “For Human Rights”, Ernst Cherny and many others. It is open for signature. .
From information at www.grani.ru